Black, Asian and Minority ethnic influencer bike ride inspires more women of colour to cycle
A member of the band Cleopatra and the founder of Miss Jamaica UK were among 16 influential women of colour who took part in a Santander Cycle ride on Monday (May 9) to inspire more diversity in cycling.
The ride started at Tower Hill Gardens and the Group rode along protected cycle routes taking in London landmarks including Big Ben, the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square and Buckingham Palace.
The ride was hosted by Transport for London (TfL) and leading afro-urban media platform Trace TV who have partnered up to inspire more women and underrepresented communities to try cycling and enjoy the many benefits it brings.
TfL data from last year showed that people cycling in London are more diverse than ever, with Black, Asian and Minority ethnic Londoners as likely to have cycled in the last 12 months as white Londoners*. The independent research also found that half of Black and Asian non-cyclists are open to starting to cycle** and highlighted the potential for growth in cycling in underrepresented groups - something which the TfL/Trace TV partnership aims to encourage.
Led by Cycle Confident, the group that took part in Monday's bike ride ranged from complete beginners to those more experienced, helping demonstrate that cycling is safe and open to everyone whether it's for gentle exercise, leisure or to get from A to B.
Lack of access to a bike is a key barrier which stops people cycling and Santander Cycles is helping to eliminate this hurdle. Santander Cycles can be hired from as little as £2 a day for an unlimited number of 30 minute journeys. More than half of cycle hire users in London today say they started cycling because of the scheme. TfL is also working closely with local councils to ensure that all Londoners can access the capital's network of high-quality cycle routes.
Marcia Williams, TfL's Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Talent, said: "We are determined to make cycling more representative of our city's amazing diversity by empowering all Londoners to feel that they can cycle. Events like this one help show people of colour that cycling really can be for everyone, no matter what your age or ability.
"We are heading in the right direction with the gap between people from white and Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who cycle currently the smallest it's ever been but we know more work needs to be done to get people of all backgrounds and communities cycling. Our ongoing partnership with Trace TV will help inspire even more women of colour to cycle and enjoy the many benefits it brings."
Laurent Dumeau, CEO TRACE UK, said: "Trace is honoured and excited to partner with TfL and these wonderful women to encourage and promote healthy lifestyles through this unique bike ride on the iconic streets of London."
Cleopatra Higgins, the lead singer of 90s pop group Cleopatra, said: "I'm super excited to take part in this ride. As a child I wanted a bicycle so badly, I worked a paper round to earn one and now I can't recall the last time that I even rode one. Time to bring back the nostalgic joy while keeping fit and go and break out into 3rd gear!"
Dr June Daley, who founded Miss Jamaica UK, said: "Jamaica is celebrating its 60th anniversary of independence this year, so I am honoured to be part of this TfL ride promoting wellness along with my granddaughter."
Model Chaly D.N. said: "To have a balanced life with a healthy mind, body, and spirit, it's essential to eat healthy, stay active, and be positive - and cycling is part of that. And we, as a woman of colour, should make that part of our lifestyle. I'm so honoured to be part of such a good cause and motivate others to start cycling for a healthy balanced life.
Further events and activations as part of the TfL and Trace TV partnership will be announced in due course.
Notes to Editors
*TfL research from last year found Londoners from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities were not significantly less likely to have cycled over the past 12 months than white Londoners. 27 per cent as a whole had cycled over the past 12 months, compared to 24 per cent of Black people, 25 per cent of Asian people and 31 per cent of people from mixed backgrounds.
**The same research found that half of Black and Asian non-cyclists (49 per cent and 46 per cent respectively) are open to starting to cycle.
To read the full report on diversifying cycling, visit https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/cycling-and-walking